Fantasy & Gothic Blog
Our new publication Dystopia Utopia Short Stories includes a wide range of original stories to establish the breadth and depth of inspiration for modern sf, fantasy and YA fiction. Although our fabulous series of Gothic Fiction titles focuses on short stories, we included a few chapters of essential, early Utopian novels from Samuel Butler, William Morris, Mary Shelley, Richard Jefferies and Edward Bellamy. So here are the full texts, unabridged, available for you to download, as free PDFs.
Continuing the successful format of our Gothic Fantasy deluxe hardcover anthologies, we’re delighted to add a further two new titles to the series: Dystopia Utopia, and Swords & Steam. These join this year's Crime & Mystery and Murder Mayhem collections, and last year’s editions on Horror, Ghosts and Science Fiction, and bring to the series the worlds of alternate realities, steampunk, historical fantasy and perfect or imperfect societies. Once again combining classic tales with new fiction, we include such greats as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Rudyard Kipling, Mary Shelley and Jules Verne, whose expertly crafted stories helped shape the genres as we know them today, and continue to inspire the modern authors we are excited to be able to publish alongside them. Yet again, our call for submissions was met with a fantastic response, which made the final selection a tough but enjoyable job.
UPDATE: SUBMISSIONS are now CLOSED for Swords & Steam and Dystopia Utopia. Thanks to everyone who submitted.
Author of ‘Rip Van Winkle’ (1819) and ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ (1820), Washington Irving (1783–1859) holds a great place in the canon of American short story writers. A leading author of early American gothic horror alongside Poe and Hawthorne, he was also a witty commentator and prominent literary figure in the New York public eye. Writing during a period when literary communities and publications were beginning to sprout up all over, Irving incorporated his keen knowledge of human society and relationships into his work. The dialogues between and within art forms that were happening at this time helped fuel various literary movements into existence, where writers would communicate openly, shaping each other’s works and accelerating the development of their ideas and careers. In this post we’ll be taking a look at the emergence and impact of these literary communities, and Irving’s place in this larger process. We’ll also explore some of Irving’s inspired marketing techniques and see how we have him to thank for bringing the words ‘Gotham’ and ‘Knickerbocker’ into common usage!
One of the classic works that we just couldn't not feature in our Science Fiction Short Stories was Flatland, a novella by Edwin A. Abbott. This very well-known work of science fiction is a must read if you love SF and haven't yet delved into the dimensions created by Abbott.
Science Fiction is a wonderful genre. Though powerful fiction can always transplant us into new worlds, SF really amps it up – whizzing us off to alien locations and hauling the future right to our feet.
A word from our Publisher, Nick Wells:
Our otherwise delightful printer seems to have suffered a series of setbacks, culminating in the entire workforce going on holiday at the same time. Or so it seems. They've had the PDFs to make the books for 6 weeks and should have delivered two weeks ago, but various calamities seem to have befallen them and they are currently set to despatch from their factory outside Venice at the end of August.
William Wilkie Collins (1824–89), who was born in London, is the author of the widely acclaimed ‘sensation’ text ‘The Woman in White’ (1859–60). Recently, his detective novel ‘The Moonstone’ (1868) made it to Number 19 in Robert McCrum’s Guardian list of the 100 best novels written in English, where McCrum describes the book as a ‘marriage of the sensational and the realistic’. A close friend of Dickens, Collins is lauded as one of the great forerunners of detective fiction – T.S. Eliot considered Collins and 'The Moonstone' to have invented the genre. His contribution to the genres of sensational and supernatural fiction was considerable, and, famous for his unorthodox, even scandalous, lifestyle during the Victorian era, his own life was not short of inspiration for his work.